Email Deliverability Checklist
You’re not sending out emails just for the heck of it. Your goal is to get people to do something, to take action on your call-to-action. But that’s 100% impossible to achieve when your emails continuously end up in the Spam folder.
How can you stop this from happening and start getting positive results? Here are a few pointers.
Write Concise Email Content
Writing entertaining copy is one thing; effectively delivering a message is another. To motivate readers to act on what they read (and to make sure that they understand what they read), keep your copy to the point.
Choose Your Words Carefully
It can be tempting to reiterate words like free, deal, and discount, thinking that they will prompt a good response from your audience. While they can do that, they can also trigger spam filters if you place too much emphasis on them. So be careful because, at the end of the day, your sender reputation can make or break your email marketing efforts.
Avoid misleading subject lines. Yes, they can boost your open rates, but they do more damage than good when your audience realizes your email is not what they thought it was.
Nobody likes a liar so don’t become one in the eyes of your audience!
Make Smart Design Choices
Always design your emails for mobile first. We can’t say this enough but we will say it again. Make your emails mobile-friendly. How? Make the design responsive, do your best to balance the text-to-imagery ratio in favor of text and always include a plaintext version of your email.
Everybody and their mama reads email on mobile devices—even you. So if your emails read well and look appealing on all mobile devices, you can chalk it up to a win!
If you’d like to see how your emails look on different devices, we recommend Litmus and Testi. They’re great for mobile-first optimization!
Choose the Right Sending Infrastructure and ESPs
Don’t use amateur infrastructure solutions for email delivery. They’re flaky at best, which won’t work because consistency is a necessity in email marketing. Stick with proven senders such as Hubspot, SendGrid, Postmark, Mailchimp, and ConvertKit. Or if you’re the adventurous type (and a little geeky), you might like to try the Amazon Simple Email Service (SES).
Check Your Settings
Your domain settings do matter. To prevent deliverability issues, you’ll want to check rDNS, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. (If this sounds like gibberish to you, just email us and we’ll sort you out.)
Additionally, make sure that your FROM name and address are human-friendly and are actually active. Using email@example.com is just ridiculous to be brutally honest. Don’t do it.
Qualify Your Audience
Aim for double opt-ins rather than singles. Not only can you verify that a subscriber has access to the mailbox, but you can also confirm their interest in receiving your marketing emails. Get your email relationship off to a good start this way.
Yet, even if you got off to a good start ages ago, that doesn’t mean that a subscriber still wants to hear from you down the line. So you’ve got to be on the lookout for people who stop engaging with your emails (generally over a period of three to six months).
When you identify such people, send them a last message saying “Hey John, no clicks no glory” and, if they fail to respond to your warning email, unsubscribe them. You’ll save your sender reputation, cut costs on extra contacts, and you won’t be that jerk that bombards people with an endless, unstoppable stream of emails.
Extra Tip: Always give people an easy way to unsubscribe. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that if you hide the link, people will keep reading.
No, my friend, they’ll just mark your email as spam and move on.
Let’s Sum It All Up
In short, you want to be honest in your communications, respect the reading preferences of your audience, use professional email sending tools and prune your lists. It’s not too sexy and there are no shortcuts but if you’re serious about email marketing, you’ll tuck in and get it done. Or you’ll enlist us – your marketing friends – to take care of it for you.